Most people understand instinctively how I run my blog, but for the sake of those few who really struggle to understand, allow me to outline the basic principles by which discussion should be conducted.
I believe in the freedom of speech. I believe that one sentence comments, mockery, criticising me, criticising other posters, and posting eloquent, passionately argued essays are all part of how people express themselves, and I love reading through the end result.
As far as I am concerned, the fallout from comments is as much a part of the art as the original post itself.
1. I do not delete comments – I find disrupted conversations you cannot follow along because people are replying to comments that are no longer there incredibly irritating. If you write something appalling, your comment will, at most, be edited to summarise what you were saying in a less offensive manner.
2. Because I do not delete comments, if you make a total tit of yourself, those comments will stay there forever. Post wisely.
3. While swearing is allowed, I would appreciate it to be kept to a minimum and used for emphasis. Comments laced with profanity for no discernible reason will be edited.
4. Crude insults (“go fuck yourself”) will be edited. Witty insults are fine and a time-honoured tradition.
5. If you post ignorant, hypocritical, or meaningless nonsense to my blog and all the other commenters mock you for it, I will not rescue you. If you are being bullied, I shall ask them to stop. I am the judge of which is which, whinging about how people outwitting you or laughing at you are bullies is not going to get you anywhere. You can always just stop commenting.
6. I will usually remove, usually on request, duplicate posts, accidental posts, personal information, and spelling errors. You can contact me here.
I have banned two people in the four years I have run this blog: this was for comparing my edit of a comment, from someone else calling me names, to the Holocaust, and for comparing both myself and the Israeli Army to Hitler.
While I reserve the right to rip up all these rules and do whatever I want, generally speaking if you aren’t scraping the keyboard with your knuckles, you are welcome to comment, and I look forward to reading it.